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Saintly endorsements

The interventions of foreign former Prime Ministers will change little but simply reinforce the faithful on both sides that they are on a winning ticket

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan
30 May 2017, 7:30am
At il-Fosos, former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Tony Blair sent messages of support while at the PN meeting, it was Manfred Weber President of the EPP group
At il-Fosos, former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Tony Blair sent messages of support while at the PN meeting, it was Manfred Weber President of the EPP group
The last days of the 2017 electoral campaign come at a point where most people are praying for this election to come to an end. Come on, let us admit it, we all want to return to our normal lives.

The soundbites have not changed since 1 May. We have had the same messaging and arguments and the tempo has been horrible.

There is little doubt now, that the events that spiralled out of control before 1 May catalysed Joseph Muscat to call a snap election.  

Comforted by the fact that – at that point – the polls were showing a comfortable gap he took a decision, some call it a gamble.  

And knowing all too well that the time would continue to eat into his lead. This political decision may backfire or award him a further five years.

Even though polls today show a lead for Labour, anything could happen.

Unfortunately for Muscat, he has opted to stand by his two men. That gamble may be the costliest decision in his life.  It may also not.  

That decision reinforces the belief that has been ventilated with much appetite by Simon Busuttil. 

Muscat denies his involvement in Egrant and I guess half the population believes him, but he has entered a campaign spending most of his time defending allegations against him and his two men.  Even though some of the allegations are solid and others far from having any substance.

A wider audience

But in the last days of the campaign, both political leaders need to address a wider audience instead of their party faithful. They need to talk to the Maltese people and stop raising the ante. We are slowly slipping into an irreversible collision between two tribes and a wave of resentment that will have long-lasting effects.  

This country does not deserve to go through this. We do not need to act resolutely to stop this cancer from spreading.

We have fundamental problems but at ground level people were living their life, detached from the political realities and intricacies. We need to give this back to the people. We owe it to our families and to our businesses.

The advocates

In this election we have seen the usual suspects who have departed from their former political homeland to present themselves as advocates for a party. John Bonello and Kevin Drake on one side for Labour. Philip Rizzo and Michael Brigulio for the Nationalist party.

Others have offered their names even though their curriculum vitae does no one any good.

Irrespective of their reasons, they have lent their names to the campaign and that is what matters to the parties.   

This is typical of election campaigns but it also illustrates the combative spirit of the political parties hell-bent on convincing the electorate that they have managed to garner more support.

Yesterday was perhaps telling.  

At il-Fosos, former Prime Ministers Matteo Renzi and Tony Blair sent messages of support while at the PN meeting, it was Manfred Weber President of the EPP group. Their interventions will change little but simply reinforce the faithful on both sides that they are on a winning ticket.

In every election there are winners and losers. And our concern should always be focussed on the losers. We are a country divided into two, and once again this tribal dichotomy has returned to haunt us. Heralded by the orgy of abuse on the social media and the self-conceit of so many individuals who cannot see beyond their impulsive love to insult and call others names. 

This small nation does not deserve to be divided in this way.  

I have followed a different narrative from the two leaders and it is noted.  

We have reached such a level of intolerance that we cannot even correct inconsistencies, small and big lies, and at times report news as we should.  We are conditioned by the abuse and the pressures.  We should not be, we should say it as it is.

There are incredible instances where politicians repeat lies and even contradict the truth.

It is a sign of the times.

saviour_balzan
Saviour Balzan is the founder and co-owner of MaltaToday. He has reported on Maltese poli...
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